Sophie and I are both members of English Heritage and the National Trust (saves a heap of money as we visit so many of their places) and so we receive emails from both advising us of events and so forth. Consequently we were quite excited to get an email from NT exhorting us to visit Embleton Bay and see the bluebells that festoon the dunes there. Wow, we thought, bluebells next to the sea, how cool, lets go! So off we went on a sunny spring day to shoot the flowers.
To get to the bay you drive past the village and up to Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Club where there’s a free car park. You then walk past some sheep in a field and then across the golf course.
We are noticing Northumberland flags everywhere we go this year, this is a new thing!
A little trout stream, known as the Embleton Burn, begins in the inland moors, makes its way through an area of the old barony, woody denes, and channels, before reaching the centre of the bay.
We were not the only ones out with our cameras, and we stopped and had a nice chat on with this lady who had come over from the west coast to shoot Dunstanburgh Castle. But she wasn’t happy that there were no clouds so the sky was too boring.
Found some interesting seaweed that wouldn’t look out of place in a sc-fi/horror movie!
A couple of lovey dovies
The bay itself is really long and beautiful.
Those little dark boulders at the bottom of the photo above are whinstone. Whinstone is a term used in the quarrying industry to describe any hard dark-coloured rock. Examples include the igneous rocks, basalt and dolerite, as well as the sedimentary rock, chert. There is also a whinstone reef which you can’t see as it’s under the sea 🙂
Looking south there is the rear side of Dunstanburgh Castle,
Apparently there is a large sandstone rock known as ‘The Vanishing Rock’. As the tides come and go and the sands shift to and fro, so this feature moves into and out of view, as befitting its name. Nothing unusual in that, you may think; but this particular rock has the name “Andra Barton” chiselled into its surface, in rough but distinct lettering. Sir Andrew Barton was High Admiral of Scotland around the turn of the 16th century, who, acting under the protection and in the name of the Scottish Crown, made something of a nuisance of himself to the Portuguese and the English upon the high seas. In short, he was considered a pirate by non-Scots, or a privateer, at best. He was defeated in battle with the English in 1511 – some reports have him slain in the fight, others that he was captured and beheaded. The loss of Barton did not go down well with the Scots – one of many grievances which led, eventually to the clash at Flodden in 1513. I have no idea why his name is on the rock.
However the rock was last seen in 1974 and it didn’t reappear this day!
You may have registered that the last three photos are taken from a high point of view, and that’s because we were walking the length of the dunes looking for damned bluebells which had also vanished, if they ever existed.
We did see other things of interest though.
Some of the dunes were really steep, this chaps two mates had run down before him whooping and hollering, but he made a right meal of it!
Sophie and I went the long way round 🙂
Apart from the disappointing lack of bluebells it was nice to be beside the seaside 🙂 . We only did an hours walk but then went off to see Embleton Church which has some interesting features and we’ll visit that next time, so stay tooned peeps!